A California state agency has ruled that seven drivers for Pacer International Inc. who challenged their status as independent contractors can collect $2.21 million.
The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement ruled the drivers were company employees, rather than independent contractors. Pacer, which recently became part of XPO Logistics, has filed a notice of appeal.
The case is the latest development in an ongoing battle over the status of truck drivers, who are independent contractors from the carriers’ standpoint.
Don Minchey, the hearing officer in the case, wrote “the plaintiffs are convincing in their arguments.”
Drivers’ independent contractor status is being challenged by union organizers, in Southern California and other locations, who are seeking employee status so that organizing campaigns can advance.
“We are aware of the rulings by the administrative hearing officer in the seven claims,” an XPO spokesman told Transport Topics. “These cases are ongoing and we have appealed the rulings to California Superior Court. We intend to vigorously oppose these claims, which we believe are without merit.”